Tag Archives: yard work

A small chores update

Honestly, I'm starting to wear out on chores. I've been away from the paycheck job since Wednesday at quitting time, and don't have to go back until Tuesday. During that time, I've hit the chore list hard.

I'm not embarrassed to say I didn't get as much accomplished today. I managed to get my critique work done for our meeting on Thursday night. I put it in my truck, because that's my insurance policy against forgetting it when I need it.

What I didn't post about was pruning fruit trees. The sap is up now, so I stopped at about 2/3 to 3/4 of what I want to remove. After the trees adjust, I can trim the rest. They're all in a big pile in the back yard, and my son and I are hauling them to the dump tomorrow. Part of the peach tree must weigh 400 pounds, so I'm glad to have an extra back involved. This stuff takes time too, but it didn't do much to advance my author agenda.

Today, I worked on my beta reading project. I'm about 2/3 of the way finished now. If everything works out well, I may finish and deliver my notes tomorrow. (Maybe)

I also assembled and scheduled Thursday's Lisa Burton Radio. I have two other interviews out there in cyberspace, but it's Sunday night and the first guy finished became the first guy scheduled.

Honestly, I could have hit it hard and finished everything else, but I'm wearing a bit thin. I caught up with recordings of S.H.I.E.L.D., and don't regret it a bit. ABC scheduled this beyond reality for a working man, so I have to record the episodes and watch them later.

My other son and I also stayed up late every night playing Diablo III, and we had a great time. I think my wife is wearing out on us, but she's the one who surprised me with an X-Box. (So there.)

My so called vacation was a lot of work, mixed in with a bit of fun. We even worked two date nights into the mix. The good news is my path is cleared, or will be very soon, and my next day off may let me work on my novel.

Hope all of you had a Happy Easter.

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Wearing down today

I backed up and read the stuff I wrote yesterday on my novel. This is something I always do before writing. It's reasonable, and flows well enough. I managed to hack out maybe six pages total.

I know I've been at it for days, and I might be fading a bit. I feel good about using my time well, and I accomplished quite a bit, so no complaints. I wrote about +/- 28 pages in three days. I should have tracked word count, but I just didn't this time.

I took some time to thin Asian and European pears before it got too hot. God those Asian pears set a lot of fruit. None of it will grow if I don't remove about 80% of it.

I also removed some fire blight on the European tree. It's supposed to be a resistant variety, but fire blight is bad stuff, so I removed it anyway.

Mostly, I spent the day finishing the book I've been reading. This one took me a long time, and that's not the fault of the book. I only get limited quality time, and then have to allocate it to writing or reading.

I may drag my feet before picking up another book to read. I need to finish some writing projects, and I have others screaming at me from the back of my mind. Whatever I read next is likely to be a short story or novella on a camp out.

All told, it was a pretty good staycation. I have to pick my wife up at the Boise airport late tonight, and assume tomorrow will be filled with distractions.

It looks like most of you have lives. The Internet was pretty quiet today, and I hope you all got to do something fun.

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The day I ruined the planet

Old What's Her Face* wanted to buy into a program one of the local franchises offers. Zamzow's is a store that's part feed store, part nursery, part garden center, and part pet store. If you need goldfish, fertilizer, petunias, or baby chicks they have them.

She likes the idea of seasonal applications of various things to make our yard pretty. (All of which Zamzow's will gleefully email her about at the correct time.) We picked out our Springtime fertilizer pellets. Of course she also needed some metal flower looking things to stick in her flower bed. Oh, and some pre-emergent crabgrass killer, plus some stuff to kill off the clover that's been slowly taking over our yard.

I spent the rest of my day first exchanging the hoses I already placed out. Who knew there was a specific one for the front yard, and a specific one for the back? Obviously not me.

Then I had to turn on our sprinkler system. We finally have water in the ditch, and can start using it instead of the hoses.

My instructions were to spread the granulated fertilizer first. Then spread the pre-emergent crabgrass killer. Don't worry, my wife supervised this complicated operation.

My next job was to run the sprinklers through their cycle and make sure all of this granulation stuff got wet.

Only then was I allowed to hook up the hoses and spray a liquid weed killer over the top of everything. Now it has to dry for a couple of days to make sure the weeds are really angry. Come on, we know it doesn't really kill them.

After I completed my tasks, I took a quick bath and am happy to report the drain pipe didn't explode from all the chemicals.

I make no promises as to what this chemical cocktail is doing to the planet. If my lawn ignites in the next few days, I'll try to get a video for your amusement. A steel lawnmower blade, one tiny spark, a whole bunch of miracle chemicals…

I still remember the good old days when I could top-dress the lawn with manure and it looked great all year long. I still think it works, but I was wrong, just ask my wife.

I haven't written any new fiction in weeks. I feel guilty about leaving the Yak Guy to his own devices, and the short story incomplete, but not guilty enough to jump back in.

I would feel differently if sales were thriving, but that isn't the case. I'll probably jump back in sometime this week, but mostly for my own amusement. I really don't feel the need to get another book out in cyberspace any time soon. That will come eventually, but right now I want to take time to plan some camping trips, go fishing with my son, and probably place some fire extinguishers around the yard. Do they sell lawn insurance?

*Entertaining Stories; protecting my wife's name since 2013.

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The good, the cursed, and the entertaining

This weekend was supposed to be dedicated to Autumn chores, and a few small items to move my writing career forward. On the good news front, I got the hoses coiled up and stored for the winter. I also managed some blogging, and sent my critique submission to the gang to dissect.

I didn't get the furnace filters changed. The fact is, I don't have to change them at all. This is because I live under a curse. I've lived under it since high school, and possibly longer. Maybe high school is just where I first noticed it.

Maybe I'm being punished for some prideful act. I really don't know what it is, but the curse is real. It works like this: If I spend money on something I don't absolutely need, I will be punished in short order with a necessary expense that makes me wish I hadn't indulged.

We bought our camper, and immediately had to buy our daughter four new tires. Tires aren't cheap any more, even cheap tires aren't cheap.

We bought my wife a new car, let's just say the furnace filters don't need to be replaced. We need not only a new furnace, but a new coil to go with it. This stuff is like a foreign language to me. If the repairman said I needed a new warp drive or flux capacitor it would make more sense to me. The end result is financing more stuff that I didn't plan on.

I'm making notes. Life is a big part of the character arc in my next story. The fact that you cannot plan everything will be part of the story. (The later part.) Stuff happens, it's very realistic, and it ought to resonate with readers. I'll make it more philosophical in the book, and it won't involve a curse. If you can't break the curse, write a book about it. What else can you do?

This week has been a wild ride on the entertainment front. Glenn died on The Walking Dead. He's one of those I considered untouchable. There is a conspiracy theory going around the internet now that he isn't really dead. Yeah right, more like undead. Still, it was unexpected, dramatic, and delivered the powerful emotional experience of good fiction.

I got all excited when it looked like the grave of the Headless Horseman was discovered on Bones. I was lukewarm to the idea of a Bones/Sleepy Hollow crossover, but it was great. The dead redcoat turned out to be General Gates, and it wound up being a fun story. A little Headless Horseman goes a long ways, and I think leaving it as a teaser was the right move.

It looks like the Reverse Flash is back on The Flash. It remains unknown whether he is good or bad. Special Agent May is back on SHIELD, and I'm glad for that. May and Colson are the main reason to watch the show. I expect good things ahead.

I've slacked off on Dr. Who. I really don't know if I like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I don't know, because I can't hear a word he says. The production team must have changed, because the dramatic music tends to drown out the dialog. I recorded the episode this weekend, and may get around to watching it. I want to, I just feel excluded from enjoying it.

I chose to record Dr. Who, because I watched Ash vs The Evil Dead. Bruce Campbell is back, and in a role that lets him shine. The show was hilarious, and I anticipate a great reunion between he and Lucy Lawless in a future episode. Hail to the king, baby!

That brings me to The Last Witch Hunter. We just got back from the movie, and it was wonderful. I'm not a Vin Diesel fan, but he was acceptable. The story is pretty standard fare these days. I loved seeing the Game of Thrones girl again. (Rose Leslie) It's nice seeing her do something more than trying to kill John Snow.

What pushed this over the top for me was the visuals. I saw things I never imagined in this movie, and loved them. Having a drink at Chloe's witchcraft bar became a bucket list item for about ten minutes. Then Vin Diesel burned it down. The “good” witch visuals were wonderful, even beyond the bar. Tiny scenes like a view of a florist shop, or the herb garden were creative as hell. ( So many mushrooms.)

There were a few nice twists and turns, and some great use of plants and payoffs. I enjoyed this movie more than any I've seen this year, and I've seen some big films this year.

There you have it; I'm broke, entertained, cursed, and inspired. Oh, and the hoses are all put away. How are you doing?

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Slacker!

I skipped my normal Sunday post this weekend. It isn't that I had no topic, we were just busy. It didn't even involve writing related stuff.

My wife earmarked the spot where my deceased apricot tree was removed. She's also a sucker for a good promotion. A local nursery gives away what they call “bucks” during the Spring and early Summer sales period. If you save these bucks, you can use them after the season winds down to purchase items they didn't sell during the rush. (I was thinking tools perhaps. Silly me.)

It's a great business idea. People who don't care where they buy petunias go out of their way to shop where they get bucks. They return toward the end of the season to spend bucks on junk the nursery could not sell.

This time, we got lucky. My wife picked out a magnolia tree that was over $100. We paid less than $40 because she had so many bucks to spend. That means I got to plant a rather large tree on Sunday. Our soil is rocky, and this takes a bit of effort. I even screened the soil to remove the rocks before it went back in the hole. (I didn't need dynamite, but it was close.) (Also, can I get some bucks for a back massage and some muscle relaxers?)

Immediately after finishing it was time to clean up, and dress up. We made a mad dash to The Morrison Center to watch The Book of Mormon. This is the Broadway play that was put together by the fellows who brought us South Park. We wound up getting there about fifteen minutes late because a stoplight was out.

Sometimes even I get lucky. So many patrons were blocked by the light that they held up the curtain. All was well. The play was hilarious. We grabbed a sandwich and a beer on the way home, and that about did it for me.

Tomorrow, we have tickets to the final tour for Motley Crüe. My wife is way excited, but I saw them live before I ever met her. They will be excellent, and I'm not worried about being bored. I'm looking forward to Alice Cooper who is also part of the bill. I've never seen him perform, and always wanted to.

We almost never buy tickets to the big stuff. It's kind of once per year, or less. It just so happens this year we have tickets to two events in three days. If I consider the play as last year's event, and the concert as this year's event, can I go to something fun again next summer?

Oddly enough, I need a tie for work tomorrow. Sunday, I went from shorts and a tee shirt to putting on a tie for the play. Tomorrow, I'll rush home to get rid of the tie and pull on shorts and a tee shirt.

So I was a slacker in blogland. I may have missed a post or two that I should have read. I didn't write, edit, or promote a darned thing. I had a pretty good time though. I may even see some interesting people to make up stories about tomorrow.

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The end of my weekend

Today is my rotating day off. With it winding down, I thought I'd tally up whatever I might have accomplished over the last three days. I also have a serious question for you. I know I'm rarely serious, but bloggers know stuff and maybe you can help me.

My sister-in-law was here for a few days. I had to work through most of this, but my wife took a day off and got to spend it with her sister. This is great, considering we only get to see her every five to ten years. We went out to a nice dinner one night.

We also had our grandson over the weekend. We took him to the last flag football game and watched him collect his trophy. His parents both had commitments, and I'm glad we could help out.

I managed to deadhead my roses. This makes them grow and brings on new flowers. Roses all took a hit here last year, but mine aren't grafted so they all came back true. We had a terrible cold snap in November and it caught them all by surprise.

I poisoned the lawn for clover, crabgrass, and dandelions. I know some people are against that, but they won't let me buy napalm anymore. I don't mind a certain amount of invasion in the lawn, but there's more clover than grass right now.

Research on potential novels turned into reading. I'm so hooked on the book that I'm reading the whole thing. I actually have about five books by this guy, and some of the data I wanted is in another volume somewhere. I cleaned and filled fountain pens and managed a page of notes that deserve deeper research.

The competing outlines got a few more index cards. One is starting to show signs of an act one, and the others aren't far behind. I'm struggling to find the right bad guys for the science fiction piece though. The story I have in mind would have the readers cheering for the bad guy.

I started reading another novel at the same time, and am over a quarter of the way through. I'm really enjoying it, and looking forward to getting back to it.

I finished one short story, but it needs some work, wrote a cool micro fiction, and started another short story. The new short is coming up flat though. Maybe going to work for four days will bring some clarity.

I prepared a couple of guest posts and sent them off. One is going to be a blog swap so that will be fun. I explored an autumn promotional opportunity with a friend, and it has a lot of potential.

I also exchanged a pretty fun bunch of emails with a cover artist for the book of short stories. The cover is looking incredible, but we're going to let it stew for a month or so. I don't want to release it until school starts up again. We have time to play around and tweak a few things. (It's so awesome though!)

Back to outlining and that question I have. I wrote a sequence of posts a few weeks back about how I storyboard my outlines. I also mentioned a specific app I use, but that's it was getting tired on iOS 8. It hasn't been updated since about iOS 6. It likes to open, crash once, then work.

I sent an email to the company asking if they were planning an update. The fellow immediately forwarded it to the person in charge. Everything went silent since then. I sent a follow up email two weeks later that was never acknowledged at all.

I've searched for a cork board app that would do the same things this app does and there is no such thing. Therefore; does anyone know how difficult it is to create an app and get it on the Apple Store? The research I've done usually says to hire someone to make it for you. I'm not opposed to that idea if it seemed profitable, but how do you find these people and what might it cost? It seems like many people are creating apps these days, so why not me?

I know someone out there in blog land has some of these answers. Let me hear from you.

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Trying for my Sunday post

We ground up the peach branches today. They dried well enough to go through the chipper without making a knot of green bark around the motor. The tree looks good, and is leafing out well. The flowers I are gone, and I wait to see how many peaches it will set.

I actually got to watch the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers last night. The new rookie pitcher took out the top pitcher in the National league. It was awesome. I even got to see a Goldschmit home run.

This is a rare thing for me. Games are frequently blocked out and I can't watch them. Network television doesn't seem to think baseball exists beyond the Yankees or Red Sox.

Now I'm watching the Game of Thrones marathon on HBO. It's a nice warm up to the premier of the new season tonight. Can't wait to see what Tyrian Lannister is up to.

Is anyone else watching tonight?

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